The Thompsons, previously known to audiences as The Hamiltons, are on the run and thirsty for blood. The law is on their trail, due to a botched attempt at filling up their gas tank. They run. They drink blood. But unfortunately for viewing audiences everywhere, the authorities are unsuccessful at capturing and or killing The Thompsons.
I had relatively low expectations going in to The Thompsons. It seems that my mindset was warranted. The movie is a mess. This follow up effort to The Hamiltons is full of problems.
The way the film bounces around in a non-linear fashion is obnoxious. Francis’ voice over narration is unnecessary. If the story had been told in the more conventional linear style, it would have eliminated the need for voice over narrative. The voice over narration does little more than insult the intelligence of the film’s audience.
The Thompsons feels like scenes from other films weaved together to make a movie. The non-linear storytelling is reminiscent of Pulp Fiction. The vampire bar room scene looked like it was inspired by From Dusk Till Dawn. The romance scenes reminded me of a racier Twilight. The scene with the human skin masks was lifted out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Thompsons never finds its own identity. It meanders through for its 1 hour and 22-minute run time without bringing anything original to the table.
The performances are bad. They come off as caricatures of the people the cast are trying to represent. No one in the film offers up a believable perfromance.
There is no successful character development. Though, the film is filled with attempts to get the audience to like the cast, it’s impossible to warm up to any of the characters. We get some back story that’s supposed to humanize the film’s stars, but it inversely served to make me wish death upon each of the characters. I hated every single main and supporting cast member. The efforts to make the audience identify with the key players were transparent and did nothing but piss me off.
The Thompsons is a movie about pretty teenage vampires. Even though it attempts to distance itself from the ultra popular teenage vampire saga by making a sarcastic reference to Twilight near the beginning of the film, the attempt is unsuccessful. The Thompsons is a more violent film than any entry in the Twilight series, but it’s undeniable that plenty of paralells still exist. There’s plenty of teen angst and hard bodied love scenes to satisfy most anyone who likes their vampires of the sparkly variety.
The effects are a mixture of practical and digital. The majority of the gore looks like it was done digitally. All of the violent scenes have a very artificial look to them. Nothing takes me out of the moment more quickly than easily being able to spot poorly executed digital imagery. The action sequences are very unrealistic, as well. The fight scenes were poorly put together. Every time we should have seen physical contact, it was obscured or occurred off camera.
The one notable improvement over The Hamiltons is that the technical aspects have been upgraded a bit. The cinematography is better and the film, overall has a more polished look. But, that wasn’t enough to save The Thompsons from its numerous flaws.
The Thompsons is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Unless you are a die hard fan of The Hamiltons, take a pass on this one.